Google Often Tests Longer Search Results Snippets

Nov 28, 2017 • 7:35 am | comments (2) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine

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Over the past few days or so, since around Thanksgiving time, I've been getting emails, tweets, etc from people telling me they are seeing Google showing longer snippets from the typical two line search results snippet. Truth is, Google has been messing around with snippet length for over a decade - they are constantly playing with these things.

So these users are (a) in a test group or (b) seeing a dynamic search snippet that is longer because Google feels the snippet should be longer for that query. Or maybe it is both or maybe it is a bug?

Either way, longer snippets is something Google does all the time. It seems maybe Google has dialed up the test on this and is showing more longer snippets. But I do not have data to prove that outside of the spike of folks telling me they are now seeing way longer snippets.

John Mueller of Google replied to these questions on Twitter:

So if you see longer snippets, you are not alone.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: RankRanger has been tracking this as well and has shown significant increases in length here:

Update 2: Google confirmed they did do an update here, a spokesperson said:

We recently made a change to provide more descriptive and useful snippets, to help people better understand how pages are relevant to their searches. This resulted in snippets becoming slightly longer, on average.

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